Finished learning after vocational training or studying? A notion which applies less today than ever. Lifelong learning for all is one of the central challenges of our time. Financing concepts for lifelong learning will be a decisive factor in determining whether the opportunity to participate in such learning will be available to each and everyone in Germany.

In a world which is becoming globalised and individualised it is necessary to promote self-determined learning in unison with individual responsibility; contributing to equality of opportunity by learning throughout the entire life cycle; strengthening civil society; enabling individuals as well as companies to react positively to changes occurring in the working environment.

Learning will follow increasingly open and simultaneously interrelated educational paths. This report describes the supply, participation and financing structures of continuing education and training in Germany, past and present. Concurrently, it examines the nature of challenges presented to a future system of lifelong learning, its protagonists and institutions by an increasingly knowledge-based working environment and private sphere. Furthermore, it offers a systematic overview of alternative modes of financing, thereby laying the foundation for the preparation of a coherent proposal for financing of lifelong learning in Germany. Specific financing recommendations are not put forward.